It is big news. Microsoft has acquired Activision Blizzard. What does this mean for the industry & more importantly, what does it mean for the player? We break down what we know so far.
It is, without a doubt, one of the most significant acquisitions in recent years. Microsoft buying out Activision Blizzard has sparked an industry-wide reaction. So many questions, so many concerns, so much to enquire about. We have seen a recent explosion of Microsoft's gaming division and their Xbox game pass world, driving players into their market. With so many great titles already under their purview, the ability to have a subscription and effectively play so many triple-A titles without having to fork out 80+ dollars for each is highly appealing. Some of the most prominent labels, one recent release being Halo: Infinite, enticing fans and gamers alike to explore the Xbox Game Pass ecosystem and be enticed to keep this subscription service for good.
They are, in a way turning into the movie streaming service of gaming; pay a monthly fee and get all these great titles to play at your fingertips. Netflix and all those streaming services survive and, more importantly, compete for content. The challenging gaming world doesn't necessarily allow you to just put another publisher's game on your platform without what we can imagine a considerable cost. So what is Microsoft doing? They are either buying or cutting deals with publishers. Already a vast deal is obviously in place with EA. They bought out Zenimax (Bethesda) several years back. They have now bought out one of the biggest, oldest companies in the gaming world for a pocket change cost of $70 billion.
It is yet to be known how this deal will play out. Activision - Blizzard has a vast ecosystem, especially when it comes to World of Warcraft and other titles that demand its communities and servers. When it comes to the games themselves, we don't anticipate much change in managing them. Still, it will be intriguing how Microsoft integrates these games into their world. There is a bold statement in the announcement, clearly stating that the acquisition of Activision Blizzard will be a crucial element in the future of the Microsoft Metaverse. This statement alone is intriguing from an industry perspective, but more on that a little later. The current main concern of the industry is the monopoly style move. Is Microsoft effectively going to become this giant that dangles its requirements (similar to Apple & Android) at smaller publishers and developers for these companies to have exposure?
What do we think this means for the players. Well, initially, not much, we believe. However, we will start seeing titles like Overwatch and COD be playable on Xbox game pass quickly. This will entice more people to buy into the game pass subscription for current and future titles. As a whole, players will win, especially if they are interested in playing a massive library of other games if they want to.
The future is exceptionally intriguing. We expect the Microsoft Metaverse will become the place for gamers to hang out, virtually socialise, virtually connect, and then play any title they wish in the game pass library. This is something that we think will give valve something to think about. The ability for Microsoft to create a gaming metaverse &, in turn, create a dynamic gaming community we think could be one of the most significant to date. The future is exceptionally intriguing, and we cant wait to see this evolve.